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Getting back to work, safely

For many years, our clients have trusted VIP Audio Visual Company to create amazing A/V experiences. Now, the new world that we’re all living in means that trust is extended to helping keep us all safe.

We take this responsibility seriously, and have devoted much of our time during this state-mandated shutdown to researching and implementing new policies that will let us get your corporate events back up and running while reducing the risk of spreading disease.

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Using cameras at your corporate event

Cameras have a lot of uses in the world of corporate events. Whether we are showing your presenters on the big screens, broadcasting a worldwide web stream, or simply recording for archival purposes, having the right cameras set up in the right places allows us to provide exactly what your event needs.

Manned Cameras

The camera setup that provides us the best image quality and usefulness is the manned studio camera. This is a high-end camera, with a large viewfinder and tripod-mounted zoom and focus controls. Having a skilled operator running this camera allows them to smoothly follow on-stage events: zooming, focusing, panning and tilting all at the same time to create the best possible viewing experience.

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How Virtual Events Can Ease Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact

Northern California is starting to feel the impact from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) with corporate events, large and small, making the decision to either stay on the schedule, or pull the plug for the emerging health and safety concerns.

The travel ban restrictions alone are making some events not only suffer in attendance, but even stop key speakers from being able to deliver their message to their companies in person. It seems that until the public safety issue is under control, we may keep seeing the cancellation of large group gatherings.

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Getting an AV quote: What we need to know

If you have spent any time at all reading our content, you know that VIP Audio Visual can create amazing experiences for your next corporate event. The events we handle range from super basic, to completely over the top. Our entire team is dedicated to providing the best possible experience for each customer, no matter the scope of their event or their budget.

Before we start doing our wiring diagrams and designing sets, we need to handle what for many clients is the most important part of this process: the quote. The crew and equipment we include in our estimate will be based on the information you provide to us, so it's important that we know as much as possible about your event before we start providing budgets.

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Why we recommend the gear we do

We can “do” AV at a lot of different levels. At VIP Audio Visual, we work with every client to understand the scope of their event, and the level of the show that they want to produce.

When we provide a quote, we do our best to match the equipment we're providing to the client's needs as we understand them. Many times we get questions from a client wondering why we’ve chosen to include a certain piece of gear. On the surface it may appear that we can get by without that equipment, but our years of experience in the industry have helped us recognize the most common problems that are likely to arise, and the tools we need to avoid them – creating a flawless event for you and your guests.

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Producing Creative Events with LED Walls

Corporate events tend to follow the same general mold. Two projection screens in a dark room with black or gray pipe and drape behind them. LED uplights coloring the drape, maybe a couple of banners here and there, and you’ve got yourself an event.

Most of the time this is by design. Video projection is extremely sensitive to light, so event setups are laid out to keep lighting separate from the screens. The dark room keeps the focus on the stage while also minimizing the amount of light that could wash out the screens.

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Great Sound Starts With Great Microphones

Ever been at an event where you feel like the presenter is standing an arm’s length away, speaking directly to you? Even with a couple thousand people in the room, a properly dialed audio rig creates a presence that can make any venue seem intimate and inviting.

Good sound requires quality equipment in every part of the system - speakers, mixers, processing - plus operators who know how to put it all together. But to get really great sound, you need to start at the source: the microphone.

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Audio Visual for Conventions

Conventions are a bit of a niche market in the A/V field, bringing a specific set of challenges that a lot of A/V companies aren’t prepared for. Supporting dozens or hundreds of rooms across a large facility - most of which all begin and end on the same set schedule - requires a lot of organization and teamwork amongst the A/V crew. Many A/V companies choose not to work in the convention market, as the amount of gear that we have at VIP Audio Visual and the quality of our technicians isn’t something that is easy to obtain.

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Conducting a Successful Site Visit

If you’re an event planner, you’ve got a million things to look at when you do a site visit. In the audio/visual world, we’ve got some very specific things that we like to know before we walk into a venue. If we have the opportunity we always like to do our own site visit, but that’s often not possible.

With that in mind, here’s a meeting planner’s site visit checklist that is sure to keep your A/V crew happy.

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Filling Dead Air on Your Live Stream

A few years ago, live streaming was new and exciting. Now it’s basically expected. Whether it’s an internal event being broadcast to employees worldwide, or a public event targeted at customers or partners, live stream opportunities have become an essential part of the corporate communications world.

As beneficial as the technology is, your audience likely still has a few gripes. The experience of attending a live event is very different than sitting in front of a monitor at your desk, and most live streams are essentially letting the remote audience “peek in” on the live event.

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What can you do with LED walls?

The Way Things Are

Projection and imaging have been used in corporate presentations for decades. From slide projectors and overhead transparencies, the industry moved to early CRT projectors - massive, 100-200lb behemoths that required expert technicians to converge color tubes every time they were turned on. LCD technology revolutionized the industry by introducing small and lightweight projectors that could be moved by a single person and powered off a standard 110v outlet, without the maintenance issues. In the past few years we’ve seen the introduction of DLP chips for better color accuracy, and laser projectors that are lighter, brighter, and run cooler than anything the industry has ever seen.

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Passing the Baton: Planning Effective Handoffs Between Presenters

It seems like it should be an easy thing, but in our experience the most-often bungled part of a presentation is the handoff from one presenter to the next. There have been countless scenarios where we’ve seen a speaker finish their talk and just walk offstage, leaving awkward dead air while everyone tries to figure out what to do next. Or, they’ll finish the presentation and look helplessly at the emcee for direction.

Avoid these scenarios by planning how you want to handle your transitions ahead of time. There are a lot of different ways to do this. No one option is better than another - the right answer just depends on how you want to run your event.

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Videos in Presentations

We’ve all sat in the presentations where the speaker builds up to their awesome video, clicks the button… and nothing. I can’t even begin to count how many times a presenter has told me “I took all the videos out of my presentations because they cause too many problems.” Or at the other extreme they’ll say “I’ve got 15 videos, I just need you to click the button to play each of them. I’m also going to need to pause, rewind and fast forward a few of them. You can do that for me, right?”

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Meet the Crew: C. Landon Griggs

Landon Griggs joined VIP Audio Visual Company as Project Manager in September 2018. Highly organized and detail-oriented, he keeps projects moving on schedule and does everything he can to support the VIP AV Team.

His responsibilities vary from day to day and include managing project schedules, making sure the right people are assigned to the right jobs, ensuring that job sites are safe and productive for the crew, and making the work of his coworkers as smooth as possible. He enjoys spending his days surrounded by supportive people who enrich his life, from his coworkers to the clients he interacts with daily.

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Renting Audio Visual Equipment from a Local Supplier

While VIP Audio Visual specializes in creating exceptional A/V experiences for our customers, not every event involves a large crew and complex tech setups. When you need a projector for the photo montage at a wedding, or a small sound system for an office party, VIP Audio Visual can provide professional quality rental equipment.

Our rental gear is pulled from the same inventory that we use to produce high end shows for corporate clients, so you know that the equipment is modern, well maintained, and top quality.

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Painting Your Venue with Light

Whether it’s a Rembrandt masterpiece, an Ansel Adams landscape, or the venue for your next meeting, there’s no scene that isn’t made better with proper use of light.

Good lighting is the simplest and cheapest way to transform a room. Whether you’re working in a 5-star hotel, the production floor of a winery, or a warehouse, carefully planned and executed decorative and accent lighting can add color, depth and dimension – adding a touch of class to any event.

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Roundhouse Conference Center Partnership

VIP Audio Visual Company is proud to serve as the on-site AV company at many large hotels and conference centers throughout Northern California. We’d like to introduce you to a client we’ve developed a strong relationship with over the years: Roundhouse Conference Center at Bishop Ranch in San Ramon.

Our team provides on-site management at the state-of-the-art conference center, managing events and meetings year-round for clients like Chevron, SAP, BlackBerry, and Rodan + Fields since our partnership began in 2015.

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Managing Aspect Ratios in Your Content

Aspect ratios are a confusing topic for most people. We start throwing around numbers like “4 by 3” or “16 by 9” and everyone rapidly loses interest. In spite of the confusion, aspect ratios aren’t that complicated, and they’re important to understand. Your onscreen content will look best when the screens, projectors, and presentation content all share the same aspect ratio.

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Help Us Help You! Tips For A Successful Relationship With Your AV Company

It sounds like a cliche, but we really are here to help make you successful. Our goal as your AV provider is to help your event go off without a hitch. While we can’t make the food taste better or make the valet attendants drive more safely, when it comes to what your attendees see and hear, we’ll pull out all the stops to make sure everything is perfect.

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Working with Confidence Monitors

When your presenter is on stage, they want to speak to the audience, but if their only view of their slides is behind them that can be difficult. Speaking with your head turned back over your shoulder takes your attention away from the audience, turns the mouth away from the microphone, and is a recipe for a sore neck.

Confidence monitors are the answer to this problem. Placed on the floor in front of the stage, confidence monitors (Downstage Monitors, or DSMs as they’re professionally known) allow your presenters to see their slides while naturally and comfortably facing their audience.

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Meet the Crew: Stephen Davies

Stephen Davies has been part of the VIP Management Team for the past three years. As Accounts Manager, he manages orders, inventory, and productions at Roundhouse Conference Center at Bishop Ranch in San Ramon. He works with clients including Chevron, SAP, BlackBerry, and Rodan + Fields, and manages special events for Sunset Development Company, proprietors of Bishop Ranch.

Almost every event at Roundhouse includes a presentation by a VIP in the company. With an absolute attention to the task at hand, Stephen ensures that everything sounds and operates smoothly. Part of the thrill of his work is the opportunity to make each and every event a success, no matter what factors come into play.

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The Art of Keeping Your Meeting on Time

No, it’s not a hum in the audio system. It’s the sound of your attendees stomachs rumbling in unison as the speaker drones on 45 minutes past their lunch break.

How do you, as the event organizer, prevent this from happening? In this article, we’ll share some techniques that we’ve learned over decades of producing, managing and operating both large and small events.

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Making a Great Event Better: The TC3 Summit

 If your telecom carrier is investing in the newest and most innovative companies bringing technology to the market, they were likely at the Telecom Council's TC3 Summit, held mid-October, 2018 in Santa Clara, California.VIP Audio Visual was privileged to once again provide the A/V services for this event. Hosted at Juniper Networks' conferenc...
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Why You Shouldn't Skip Rehearsals

Rehearsals usually seem to fall into one of three categories. They’re either super-organized and regimented, or really casual and disorganized, or they don’t happen at all. Most presenters view them as a waste of time - an interruption in their day that doesn’t accomplish anything. If there’s no organization, that may be true. Here’s how to set up rehearsals to maximize value and minimize time.

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Leveraging Web Streaming for your Event

Web streaming isn’t just newfangled expensive technology anymore. It’s mainstream in the business world, with millions of meetings being held online each day. While most of these meetings consist of only a few participants, the same benefits that make online meetings appealing also apply to web streaming your corporate event.

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Meet the Team: Understanding the Roles of your A/V Crew

Last time you looked at an A/V contract, you probably got a list of crew positions for labor. Ever wondered who all those people are, what they do, and why it takes so many people to get the job done? Let’s explore the typical positions on a show.

Most A/V companies, including VIP Audio Visual, divide responsibilities into three basic categories: audio, video, and lighting. There are other tasks such as set design and production, but the three basic categories will be needed on almost every event. The crew required for each category varies based on the size and complexity of a given event.

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Everything you need to know about Lighting

Good sound and video are cornerstones of any effective presentation, but when you’re ready to take your event to the next level, it’s time for lighting.

Stage Lighting

Stage lighting is usually accomplished using ellipsoidal reflector spotlights, commonly referred to as Lekos. These lighting instruments can throw light from some distance away.

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Everything you need to know about Sound

It’s fairly obvious: you can have the perfect venue, a perfectly planned event, and great speakers with amazing presentations, but if your guests can’t hear well then it’s all for naught. Having good audio is one of the most important elements of your meeting, and it doesn’t “just happen”. Setting up any venue for good sound requires careful planning, good equipment, and professional expertise.

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Everything you need to know about Graphics

If you’re a meeting or event planner, most of your interaction with the AV team will probably revolve around the graphics desk, where we handle your speakers’ presentations: PowerPoint, Keynote, Google Slides, Prezi, and more. At VIP AV, our experienced team can roll with the punches and make your event a success regardless of the challenges, but there are some things you can do which will make our - and your - life easier.

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Using IMAG at Your Corporate Event

If you’re planning large events, sooner or later somebody will throw the suggestion out: “Hey, you should really be doing IMAG!”

What the heck is IMAG?

Image MAGnification is simply the process of using cameras to project your presenters on the screens. It’s a great way to increase the engagement of larger audiences, making them feel like they’re closer to the action. It creates a high-end “large event” feel. For the right event, it’s a great way to go. There are a few factors you need to consider though.

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TC3 Summit: Cutting Edge Technology

When your entire organization is focused on promoting new tech, it takes a lot to wow your audience. That’s the situation that The Telecom Council of Silicon Valley found themselves in while planning their 2017 TC3 Summit, where telecom operators from around the world come to find out what’s new in the industry.

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Web Streaming your Corporate Event

Only a couple of years ago, live streaming your corporate event was considered cutting edge and fairly exotic. Today it is common, and often expected.

The advantages of running a live stream are obvious. You can reach a much broader audience when people don’t have to leave their homes or offices to participate in your event. Facilities, travel, lodging and meal costs are all reduced. Recordings of the event can be embedded on your website, making it available indefinitely for those who weren’t able to watch live.

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